Painting of a garden by the viaduct in Birmingham Alabama
"The Bridge by Grandmother's Garden at Sloss Furnace" in Birmingham, Alabama by Miriam McClung, 2012. Pastel on paper. 19" x 25".

Part 3: A Brief History of Birmingham, Alabama through Miriam’s Art

History of Birmingham through Miriam’s art series continued…

Viaducts, or long bridges with a series of arches, are significant features in the Birmingham cityscape. Many times Viaducts are built to carry railroads. Birmingham’s viaducts cross over railroads that cut through the southern part of the city and carry iron and steel from the furnaces that fueled its magic growth in the early 1900s.

Miriam has drawn and painted these viaducts, some more well-known and beautifully constructed than others, throughout the decades. These viaducts were an essential part of connecting people and their vehicles in the southern, more wealthy neighborhoods and villages to their work downtown. In recent years the city has revived some of the viaducts and the railroads that run through the city into a fairly vibrant park.

There was a small garden under the viaduct near Sloss Furnace that Miriam’s mother loved to visit. Miriam did a pastel of the garden (pictured) as well as several drawings of the viaducts in the 1960s (also pictured).

Drawing of the viaduct in Birmingham, Alabama
“Viaduct on 18th Street” by Miriam McClung, 1961. Pencil on paper. 6″ x 9″. Available.


“Viaduct on 18th Street No. 2″ by Miriam McClung, 1961. Pencil on paper. 6″ x 9”.
“Viaduct on 18th Street No. 2″ by Miriam McClung, 1961. Pencil on paper. 6″ x 9”.


1. (Top of page)”The Bridge by Grandmother’s Garden at Sloss Furnace” by Miriam McClung, 2012. Pastel on paper. 19″ x 25″. Available.

2. “Viaduct on 18th Street” by Miriam McClung, 1961. Pencil on paper. 6″ x 9″. Available.

3. “Viaduct on 18th Street No. 2″ by Miriam McClung, 1961. Pencil on paper. 6″ x 9”. Available.

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Miriam McClung is an artist from Birmingham, Alabama, and has been creating works of art in oils, pastels, ink, charcoal, pencil and everything in between for over 70 years. You can follow her on her Instagram account @miriammcclungart.